Saina storms into quarters
Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal was the lone bright spot on an otherwise disappointing day for the Indians in the All England Championships here on Thursday.
Olympic bronze medallist and second seed Saina, who is yet to win this coveted $400,000 Super Series premier tournament, stayed on course, powering past Indonesia’s Belaetrix Manuputi 21-16, 21-11 in the pre-quarterfinal match.
Earlier, rising shuttler PV Sindhu crashed out after suffering a straight-game defeat to fourth seed Juliane Schenk of Germany. World No 16 Sindhu suffered a 17-21, 14-21 loss to the German in 39 minutes.
It was also diappointing day for comeback shuttler Jwala Gutta, who went out tumbling in the mixed doubles pre-quarterfinals. Jwala and V Diju lost 17-21, 14-21 to the Polish pair of Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Zieba.
Meanwhile, Sindhu had a 5-1 lead in the opening game but could she not hold on as Juliane caught up at 6-6 and then both of them went neck and neck before the German nosed ahead with four straight points.
In the second game, Sindhu once again had a 3-0 advantage but the German soon got past her after reeling off five consecutive points and then held her fort as Sindhu crumbled.
Among others, top Indian male shuttler P Kashyap booked his place in the pre-quarterfinals of singles event after notching up a straight-game win over Jen Hao Hsu of Chinese Taipei on Wednesday night.
World No 9 Kashyap won his first round match 21-17, 21-18 in 43 minutes. He was slated to take on seventh seed Kenichi Tago of Japan.
Sourabh Verma, who made it to the main draw after playing in the qualifying round, was the other Indian who made it to the round of 16 in the men’s singles event.
Verma beat Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka of Indonesia 10-21, 21-14, 24-22 in a hard-fought 59-minute duel.